Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator

United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Director, UNITAR

Mr. Nikhil Seth joined UNITAR as its Executive Director on Oct 1, 2015. During his term UNITAR has grown significantly in the number of beneficiaries of its services and its work has been aligned to the pillars of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The focus of its work has shifted to benefit the most distressed countries especially in Africa.

Before assuming the post of the UNITAR Executive Director, Nikhil Seth was the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the United Nations Secretariat in New York. In this role he served as head of the Rio+20 secretariat and of the secretariat for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, spearheading the preparations for these conferences in Rio, Brazil, and Apia, Samoa. He was also closely engaged in coordinating and advancing their follow-up.

Mr. Seth’s Division was also responsible for supporting the intergovernmental negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda, which was adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 in September 2015. Agenda 2030 and the SDG’s continue to be a significant blueprint for humanity – for peace, progress and sustainable development.

In the United Nations Mr. Seth served as the Director for ECOSOC, Secretary of the Economic and Financial Committee (2nd Committee), Secretary of ECOSOC and with the USG of DESA. He was closely involved with many of the Summits and Conferences of the 1990’s – as a delegate from India and as part of the support secretariat.

From 1980 to 1993 he was a member of the Indian Foreign service and served in Geneva and Zaire (DRC). He has a master’s in economics and taught in St. Stephens’ College (Delhi University) before joining diplomatic service.

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